The Analytic/Synthetic Distinction



The distinction between analytic and synthetic truths has played a major role in the history of philosophy, but it was challenged by Quine and others in the 20th century, and the distinction's coherence and importance is now controversial. This article traces the distinction's historical development and summarises the major arguments against it. Some post-Quinian accounts are discussed, and the article closes with a list of five challenges which any contemporary account of the distinction ought to meet.